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President Tsai delivers National Day address

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On 10 October, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered her address for the 106th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Titled ‘Better Taiwan’, the speech focused on her administration’s endeavours to accelerate domestic reform, safeguard democracy and freedom and pursue greater international participation.

On domestic reform, the president said government efforts to transform Taiwan’s economy and infrastructure through initiatives such as the ‘5+2 industrial innovation programme’ and the ‘Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Programme’ have successfully increased investment from foreign and domestic firms. Detailing Taiwan’s steady progress in reforming taxation, social care, pensions and the judiciary, President Tsai also voiced government plans to suppress drug smuggling, stating it would use the power of the state and engage in multinational cooperation to combat illicit drugs.

Affirming the government’s will to safeguard Taiwan’s values of democracy and freedom, the president stated Taiwan must strengthen its military capabilities, prepare for threats in cybersecurity and espionage, raise military morale and enhance its defence industry. The president also reiterated her commitment to regional peace, asserting that Taiwan should search for new models of cross-strait interactions with mainland China to lay foundations for long-term peace and stability.

On international participation, President Tsai said Taiwan must find its place in the new international order, voicing its willingness and ability to contribute to the global community. Citing Taiwan’s achievements in encouraging regional exchanges and providing humanitarian assistance, she stated the country’s soft power is a force for stability, peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. President Tsai also expressed her hopes to achieve greater participation in international organisations so Taiwan can play a more proactive role on the world stage. The president finished her address calling for national solidarity, declaring that Taiwan will become better through its democracy, freedom and unity.